It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. – John Wooden
I’m guessing coach Wooden would not have been happy if he were coaching at Cincinnati.
In yesterday’s NCAA Tournament second round match-up between Cincinnati and Harvard, the heavily favored Bearcats fell behind the Ivy Leaguers 12-6 to start the game.
At that point Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin decided to substitute junior forward Jermaine Sanders into the game.
This caused Cronin to be called for a rarely seen technical foul. Whoever filled out the Bearcats scorebook somehow forgot to add Sanders to the team roster.
Because the scorebook was filled out incorrectly, once Cronin tried to put Sanders in the game, an administrative technical foul was assessed and Harvard was given two free throws and the ball.
Harvard made one of the two free throws and went on to win the game 61-57.
Now, I am not here to say that the administrative technical foul was the sole reason Cincy lost. Obviously they won by more than that one point. And there are way too many possessions that go into a basketball game to simply say that one call determined the outcome.
But Harvard was given a free point and you better believe it impacted the game.
Cincinnati was well prepared for Harvard’s offense. Cronin had great scouting on his opponent’s defense. The Bearcats had all of the big picture elements covered.
Somehow they let one of the littlest things slip through the cracks.
Have you ever been guilty of something similar?
I know I have.
Little things matter.
So often we focus so much on the big picture items, only to have the little things come back to haunt us.
I am guessing whoever fills out the Cincinnati scorebook next season will double and triple check their roster.